Why We Celebrate Pride: The Importance of Tolerance
June is PRIDE month, but due to COVID-19, many of the parades and celebrations are canceled. Because of these circumstances, I have been thinking about how to be an ally from home. In this article, I will share my ideas for a social distancing Pride month.
One reason I celebrate PRIDE is to recognize that we are stronger as a nation and as a community, when we embrace diversity. As the world faces increasingly difficult challenges, we are faced with finding seemingly impossible solutions. But I believe that a world with people of diverse ways of thinking, backgrounds, and skills, we can find the answers.
To me one of the most exciting part of scuba diving is diversity. Since I am a professional scuba diver and underwater stunt women, most everything in my life relates to diving ;-)
Aside from being underwater swimming weightless with ocean creatures like octopus, sharks and rays… My favorite thing about scuba diving is that it open doors to parts of the World that I would not have ventured through has it not been for diving. Scuba diving allows me to experience different cultures and make friends with people from every continent I visited.
Let's dive into why we celebrate PRIDE, Diversity and why it is essential to be tolerant of those in the LBTQIA+ community.
Celebrating Historical Achievements
The road to acceptance and civil rights for the LGBTQ community has been long and filled with tribulation. Even with that landmark SCOTUS decision to federally legalize gay marriage, we still have a long way to go to protect the right and civil liberties of those who are different. Over 30% of trans youth attempt suicide and over 20% are threatened or injured with a weapon at school.
But that doesn't mean we haven't come a long way, and celebrating those victories can keep a movement in motion. Every year, PRIDE celebrations remind us how far we have come and how far we must go.
Recognizing Diversity as Strength
Another reason we celebrate PRIDE is to recognize that we are stronger as a nation and as a community, when we embrace diversity. As the world faces increasingly difficult challenges, we are faced with finding seemingly impossible solutions. But I believe that a world with people of diverse ways of thinking, backgrounds, and skills, we can find the answers.
Throughout my life, I have traveled to many parts of the world and experienced many different cultures. I have met people who love the same gender, who identify as a different gender, who have a different skin color, and who believe in a different God. Accepting that there will always be different people, and being tolerant of the parts of them that we disagree with, will bring about a more peaceful coexistence. Discovering new fascinating places has taught me how to be mindful and tolerant of our differences, and because of this, I have made friends from all over the world.
5 Ways to Celebrate PRIDE From Home
1) Virtual Stonewall
Before the parades, there was Stonewall. It is the historical reason we celebrate PRIDE today. You can experience the history of the PRIDE movement and virtually visit the Stonewall National Museum this year at Stonewall Forever.
2) Virtual Happy Hour
Although some states are allowing bars to open already, some aren't. That means you'll have to be creative and celebrate PRIDE at home with a virtual happy hour. Make some rainbow-themed drinks and snacks and join a virtual meet-up with friends and family.
3) Support LGBTQ Resources
Donate to a non-profit that is doing some good. The Trevor Project gives life-changing suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth.
4) Wear Those Rainbows
Fly your rainbow flag and wear rainbow-themed accessories to show off your PRIDE. Add virtual rainbows stickers to your social media profiles and posts. Show people that you are an ally and support progress for the LGBTQ community.
Check-in with your gay, trans, and queer friends and family. Without the Pride celebrations, this year might be a little bit tougher for those who experience discrimination. Give some emotional support, because that is the real purpose of an ally!
So take the PRIDE parade home and let us be mindful of why tolerance is vital to achieving progress in our world. How are you going to celebrate PRIDE this year? Let me know in the comments!